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Lancashire building firm in court over poor working conditions

Date:
27 March 2014

A Lancashire building firm has been fined for failing to provide basic facilities for its workers for nearly three weeks.

Two Brooks Valley Ltd was prosecuted by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) after an inspection of a construction site for a new mini-supermarket in Warton found workers had no shelter, no way of drying their clothes and no way of heating food and drinks.

Blackpool Magistrates’ Court heard an inspector from HSE had visited the site on Lytham Road on 11 October 2013 and found the only facilities available for the four workers were a chemical toilet and an outside cold-water tap.

Two Brooks Valley Ltd, of East Beach in Lytham, was fined £650 and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £1,050 after pleading guilty to breaching the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 on 26 March 2014.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Allen Shute said:

“The four builders were expected to work in cold and wet conditions for nearly three weeks without basic welfare facilities being provided by Two Brooks Valley.

“The working conditions fell well below the minimum legal standards and are no longer tolerated in the 21st century. The company should have made sure suitable facilities, such as a cabin and access to hot water, were on the site before it allowed the building work to start.

“Instead, workers had to face needlessly unpleasant conditions over several weeks and this would have continued if we hadn’t carried out a routine inspection of the site.”

More information on the welfare facilities requires on construction sites is available at www.hse.gov.uk/construction.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce work-related death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice; promoting training; new or revised regulations and codes of practice; and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk
  2. Regulation 22(1)(c) of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 states: “The principal contractor for a project shall ensure that welfare facilities sufficient to comply with the requirements…are provided throughout the construction phase.”
  3. HSE news releases are available at www.hse.gov.uk/press.

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